Silent HTPC build is an art piece for the livingroom

silent-htpc-build

This sexy beast is [DeFex's] new silent home theater PC. To give you an idea of scale, that motherboard is a Mini ITX form factor. Mounted below it is the solid state drive which is an SLC version chosen because they tend to last longer than the MLC variety. This distinction comes with a price tag that is $100 more expensive.

But we digress. It’s the custom case that really caught our eye with this build. The frame is made of a huge aluminum heat sink. It measures about 7″ by 10″ and sets the final foot print for the computer. An aluminum puck was added to transmit heat from the processor to the heat sink. Holes were drilled and tapped into the heat sink to accept the brass stand offs which hold the motherboard in place.

The near side of the case is a sheet of acrylic. It connects to the rest of the case using 3D printed brackets at each corner. There is an additional bracket on the bottom to hold the hard drive in place. The sides of the case are filled in with bicycle spokes which also find a home in the corner brackets. Now the hard part will be figuring out which orientation looks the best for displaying his fine craftsmanship.

[via Reddit]

Comments

  1. Brian Shafer says:

    Nice work! I would love to have this in my house. Looks amazing.

  2. Jordan says:

    “Holes were drilled”
    C’mon, past tense? really?

  3. DerAxeman says:

    Unfortunately polished aluminum doesn’t radiate heat as well as anodized aluminum.

    http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/emissivity-coefficients-d_447.html

    Beautiful Work though

    • Spacedog says:

      These things don’t put out a load of heat, I build a similar passive system in an antec ISK110 case with the heat-syncs within the enclosure. it has never gone past being a little warm on sustained full load.

      The main thing is having something that looks good in your living room that the wife will find acceptable. aesthetics are a bigger factor than optimal heat dissipation outside of the mancave.

    • gard0134 says:

      While the emissivity is much lower for polished AL, only a small portion of the cooling will happen by radiation regardless of emissivity. The majority of the cooling will happen by conduction and convection, which is why we put fans on heatsinks instead of anodizing them black.

    • Jarrod says:

      Fair point, but the size of that heatsink coupled with the low heat output of that chip and there should be more than enough passive cooling to take care of it.

    • fonz says:

      Unless you intend to use it in space where there is no air and gravity, a heatsink mostly work by convection and conduction, radiating is only a minor factor

  4. Analog says:

    Absolutely sexy build

  5. Hirudinea says:

    No need to play porn on that home theatre, the case itself makes me want to touch myself!

  6. llingnau says:

    That’s majestic. Seriously.

  7. g19fanatic says:

    all that needs is a handle and it’d be an awesome build!

  8. mixup2010 says:

    It kinda looks like an aluminum ps2

  9. Garbz says:

    It’s a media-centre, not a data-centre. Why the heck would you waste $100 on an SLC harddisk in a system which won’t continuously thrash the drive? With most aggressive failure estimates an MLC drive in his scenario will outlive most of the other components in the system. Not to mention in a typical usage like this it’ll outlive a spinny magnetic drive too.

    Otherwise very nice build.

  10. Ted R says:

    I don’t like the transparent plate, should’ve been black matte or something. Other than that, a very nice build.

  11. Brian says:

    This is a very nice build.
    I was not aware that you could get itx motherboards with a LGA1155 socket or with a onboard PSU (Just connect 19v and your good to go). So thanks for that info.
    But what is the purpose of this HTPC? The SSD is too small to accommodate more than a few movies, there is no tuner card and it also lacks an optical drive, so all it can be used for is to stream movies from a NAS-drive. Could a ATOM-motherboard not have done the same ?

    • rmate says:

      Sure it could. However you may have noticed that the guy is loaded with money: Use of 3D printer, SLC SSD etc.

    • Alex says:

      He could have done it with an atom based processor like I did.
      But the problem is that you need a “powerful” graphics card – so your only combination that you can use is an ION-based motherboard. And with something like Windows 7 plus appropriate software on it the atomn is at it’s limit and won’t be that much of a use.

      I’m currently thinking of a similiar build because all my movies are stored on a NAS or fed to the HTPC via BD-Disks and the atom can handle it fine but is a bit sluggish and has a few hickups from time to time. With a low power i3 or i5 the problem would be gone and I could throw hardware-acceleration with DXVA out of the window because the CPU could handle the stuff just fine.

      So it’s just a different approach. The SSD is just a waste of money and a regular SSD would have done just fine but what the heck – everyone what he can afford, right?

      BlackEternity

  12. Roebi says:

    Wouldn’t static electricity be something to worry about?

  13. I like this. One thing I would change to help performance is to put a thermoelectric peltier in between the CPU and heat sink to cool the CPU better and maybe allow for some good overclocking with a passive system.

    I know they sap energy like crazy but a low power system like this won’t be pulling enough amps to dim New York anyways.

    • fonz says:

      Peltiers are next to useless for cooling anything that dissipates anything but a tiny amount of power
      irreplaceable for keeping a laser at constant temperature or cooling a ccd

      but for a CPU, no, it just triples the problem and moves it a few millimeters

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 97,539 other followers